Valve announces Artifact, finally jumps into virtual collectible card gaming


#283

Oh yeah. I guess killing the unit is the best way. The system prevents consistently winning the game using single creeps/heroes, to guarantee a high damage creep will hit the tower you need to be wider on the board than the opponent.


#284

Yep, I agree. It’s really fun. I really doubt they’ll remove it, partly because they’d have a big backlash on their hands, but more because I think it helps them sell cards indirectly. People like me try a new card in free draft and decide on impulse to buy the thing on the market, then try it against the bots, etc. Or people like me get hooked on free draft and decide to start spending their five free tickets on the expert draft (as I plan to), then get hooked on that.

Also, free draft is one of the options for tournaments. I can’t imagine they’ll remove that. If I were Valve, I’d be marketing tournaments more too. To me, constructed is the least appealing thing about this game, and yet that seems to be what the marketing focuses on. E.g., the big launch event was a constructed event, not a draft tournament. Why not show off the mode that combines the most fun (draft) with the gameplay feature that most distinguishes it from Hearthstone (tournament)?


#285

If I can make a recommendation, go ahead and buy the super cheap mana spells that can move your folks around, taunt, change targets, etc. The black one that lets you zip a hero to another lane for 2 targeted damage is cool too. Having these spells both opens up a lot of tactical flexibility and helps defend against losing valuable guys early. Moreover, it is my experience that they continue to be useful throughout the game.


#286

I’ve been monitoring the price of a full collection, assuming this site stays accurate.

Once the total cost of a full collection drops to about $30 I’ll bite ($20 base game + $30 to fill out the rest).

Currently a full collection costs about $215, and with no way to grind gold or anything, I’m not too interested in buying in just yet.

I have ~12,500 constructed wins on ladder in Hearthstone, and only 7 in Arena (HS draft mode, and these were earned with a free ticket). Draft just isn’t a mode that does anything for me on any level, so the free draft Artifact offers isn’t an incentive for me.


#287

That’s a nice idea, although I think it would be more fair (but much more complex technically) to check the price of 95% of a total collection, in other words, not counting the highest 5%, because there are always pricey cards because their rarity, or because the community considers it special.


#288

I tried putting together a constructed deck for giggles. Immediately got matched against what I assume is the main meta deck, and it really drove home why Axe is so good. Buff his attack and use Duel on him, and he’ll kill any other hero on the first turn. Give him some armor, and he’ll never die.

I think there ought to be some cheaper ways to interact with heroes – not necessarily to kill them (since they seem very sure that that effect costs six mana and a discard), but to… I dunno, delay them at least?

A control deck of any sort seems very difficult to put together. RG heroes seem like they snowball very easily.


#289

I play blue/black and the two times I’ve seen Axe so far I’d just surrender the lane and set up my control stuff in the other two. Worked both times. Still he seems pretty clearly overpowered to me and I’m interested to see how they approach balance in this game.


#290

Still enjoying Artifact more than any other MTG style cardgame I’ve played.
Haven’t even begun to try and study the finer points, just having fun bashing around with the bots and trying different decks out to see what happens.

I did (sort of) watch this video and marked it to actually watch in detail later to pick up some pointers for game play. The stuff about heroes dying not only not being necessarily bad but even helpful was mind-opening.


#291

Maybe the harshest bit of RNG in the game is not getting any town portal scrolls or blink daggers in the shop. Being able to re-balance the lanes in any way at all can be what makes or breaks a match.


#292

I’ve literally never played a CCG before. Never got into Magic, never got into any of them online. Is this a decent game to give a try as a newcomer? Can I play against AI or do I have to play against meatbags?


#293

I recommended you play either Artifact or Magic the Gathering: Arena which also recently came out, both are good in very different ways. You can play against AI in Artifact


#294

In my opinion, this strategy works in Draft but not in Constructed as mostly all serious constructed decks have 3 blink daggers and an Axe with a blink dagger will follow you all over the board.

Relative to constructed, draft actually has card balance in this game. You won’t often see Axe in opponent decks, and when you do you’d have to be absurdly unlucky to see Axe paired with Legion Commander (who has the Duel card) and blink daggers which is where Axe becomes hilariously OP and makes the game unfun.


#295

After 28 hours of Artifact, I think I’m out until there’s a no-cost game mode that has some number going up and down based on my performance. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a ladder, a MMR, or something else. At this point it’s just too hard for me to figure out why I won or lost a game (e.g. bad deck, misplay, better opponent). Likewise it’s too hard to have any idea of whether I’m improving.

But don’t worry, I’ll probably still continue whining about the game in this thread!


#296

I’m absolutely shocked that they shipped with no visible stats tracking, not even the basics. For a team with basically infinite money the client sure is light on features. Seems like they spent most of their effort on flashy animations.


#297

Hmm, interesting question. I suppose we should recommend you first try a so-called free-to-play CCG first, like Hearthstone or Eternal or Gwent. You can try those games for free, whereas Artifact will set you back $20 (minus whatever duplicate cards you choose to sell on the market).

That said, I think the game mechanics in Artifact are more interesting, though they’re also more complex. And yes, you can play constructed against the AI; the game ships with lots of different decks that you can give to the AI and to yourself. I’m having plenty of fun doing just that.

To play draft against the AI, you have to fudge things a bit. In my opinion draft is the best mode in Artifact, since it’s much better-balanced than constructed, and drafting is just plain fun. (In online constructed you’ll see the same half-dozen heroes over and over.) To play draft against the AI, you go into the free online phantom draft, run a draft, write down the cards you drafted, and buy them so you can make a custom deck to play against the AI. For one “draft deck,” this might cost you only a couple bucks. I haven’t tried this yet, but I plan to give it a go.

My issue with CCGs generally is that I stress out playing timed games against human opposition. The chess clock jangles my nerves. But there’s also probably a subconscious fear of looking stupid if I misplay, and an innate competitiveness. :) Few of these games have a really robust PvE mode, although Hearthstone has had a few interesting purchasable PvE adventures, and Gwent’s Thronebreaker single-player campaign is excellent.


#298

The more recent (free) Hearthstone PvE content has been pretty good, especially Dungeon Run. There’s a lot of replayability there.


#299

Elder Scrolls: Legends also has a bunch of really cool single player content.


#300

Artifact is complex, but that doesn’t mean it’d be bad for newcomers. It’s not free to try, though, so if you just want to dip your toe in the genre, I’d recommend any of Hearthstone, Eternal, or Magic Arena. Pretty sure you can play against AI on any of those. Hearthstone has a cool roguelike mode, and Eternal has an entire ranked mode against the AI.


#301

I don’t particularly like Hearthstone, but even I have to admit that it’s brilliant in its accessibility, and pretty much the perfect entry point for the genre. Just make sure that if you like it, you try Magic or Artifact or something else more complex before you settle in to one game.

As for Artifact, I’m at the point where I kind of wish I had sold all of my cards initially instead of just the excess. I would have made money off of the game (joining Diablo 3 in that club!), still been able to play the quite-awesome draft mode, and been able to ignore the not-super-fun-right-now constructed mode. I hope that this sticks long enough to get some expansions and really open up the card pool, along with adding some usability, to the point where casual constructed has a bunch of fun (if not meta) decks to play around with.


#302

One thing that modern digital TCGs have a hard time with is the “kitchen table” play that Magic does really well. The majority of the people who buy Magic cards don’t play in events – they just sit down and play with their friends in the evenings, during lunch breaks, or at school. They buy packs here and there to improve their deck, but they have no concept of a metagame or even what “good” cards are. They just have fun with janky stuff.

But every T/CCG now has a ladder, and a tournament structure, and a deck database, and a Twitch presence, and there’s this shrinking tolerance for anything the community perceives as “bad.” Show up to Friday Night Magic with your homebrew Angel deck? You’ll get run out of the event. Play Hearthstone’s ladder? Better make sure you’re playing something off Hearthpwn, otherwise you’ll never hit Legend. Artifact contsructed? Better buy those Axes.

These games all try to give the casual players an area where they don’t have to come into contact with the hardcore folks, but there’s no way to gate it so that the hardcore folks stay out of that area. It’s not enough to remove rewards – for a lot of players, griefing new players with a tuned Legend deck is its own reward. I think Magic Arena is playing around with this by comparing the cards in your deck with the cards at the top of the ladder and matching you appropriately, but that’s not perfect.

I’d like to see Valve experiment with this by incorporating the card prices and having a constructed play area where your deck must fit into some price range. Constructed five-dollars-and-under is a format I’d love to play.

I guess the closest thing is in communities like this, where we don’t really have any hardcore representation. I’d be down for a constructed game with anyone here!